Saturday 12 January 2013

Book Review- Clean by Alex Hughes

Title: Clean
 Author: Alex Hughes
Series:  MindspaceInvestigations #1
Published:  4 September 2012 by Roc
Length: 352 pages
Warnings: drugs, violence, leadup to sex but nothing happens
Source: netgalley
Summary : I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars. My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary. Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die. 

Review:  The protagonist of this novel (hereafter known as Our Telepath) works for the police, after getting kicked out of the Telepath Guild, with his partner Isabella Cherabino. In a world where the Tech Wars have eliminated the people’s trust in electronics, being a telepath is useful, even if they’re not the most trusted either. Anyway. People start turning up dead, and Our Telepath is called out to help. But then he gets a vision, and it gets personal-because he could be next.
I’m calling our telepath Our Telepath because we only learn his name at the end, ie in the last two sentences Sometimes this technique annoys me, but because it’s such a well written first person book, it’s not really that noticeable. However, it didn’t come with a big plot twist, which makes me wonder why he was kept anonymous.
There’s a lot of depth to Our Telepath. He has a drugs problem, through no fault of his own, and struggles with it quite frequently through and it’s nice having an extra facet to him than just being crime fighting. It's related in a realistic way, and I liked reading about it.  He’s flawed in other ways, as is Cherabino to a lesser extent. More of her depth comes from other personal problems. Alex has done really well at getting into other people’s heads. I'd have liked to feel a bit more connected to all the characters other than Our Telepath.
The world building is good. It’s unconventional sci-fi in that computers are hardly used, but there’s other types of sci-fi devices that don't get explored fully. There's also a different take on telepaths, with different varieties and an organisation keeping them kind of organised.
Our Telepath is plain spoken and good at keeping us interested in the plot.  The murder mystery case takes lots of different directions, and that's what kept me most invested in Clean throughout.
The romantic tension between Our Telepath and Cherabino wasn't really necessary to the plot, but it did work in exposing more of their characters.
In tone, style, and pacing, it's rather similar to Storm Front by Harry Dresden (though I enjoyed this one a bit more).

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a murder mystery thriller with an excellently written main character. Looking forwards to more.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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